Killing Orson Welles at Midnight

The Clock

a film by Christian Marclay
at the White Cube, London, October 15–November 13, 2010; the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York City, January 21–February 19, 2011; the Hayward Gallery, London, February 16–April 17, 2011; the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, May 27–August 21, 2011; and the Plymouth Art Centre, September 17–December 4, 2011

The Clock is a twenty-four-hour movie that tells the time. This is achieved by editing together clips of movies in which clocks appear. But The Clock is so monumental in intention and design that even the simplest things you can say about it need qualification. There isn’t, for example, a clock visible in every scene. Sometimes people will only mention the time, or even just speak of time as a general concept. Mary Poppins does less than that; she glances at her wristwatch, the face of which we cannot see, then opens her umbrella and flies, to be replaced, a moment later, by a man, also flying with an umbrella, who soon floats past a clock tower, thus revealing the time.

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